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Discovering a Nothing to Do Kind of Day

Posted on Thursday, July 8, 2010 in Good Reads, Summer

We happened upon a sweet picture book that I wanted to share with you.  We’ve been happening upon a lot of great picture book finds now that summer has begun and I’m not pulling chapter books for school.  I’d forgotten the joy of walking through the aisles and pulling out a book with great illustrations, maybe something I’ve never seen before or maybe an old friend.

Tonight’s surprise grab from the library bag was Nothing to Do by Douglas Wood and Illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin.


Nothing to Do begins likes this:

“Once in a while, along comes a day when there is nothing-absoultely, positively nothing to do.”

Which at first sounds similiar to our children’s cry of boredom, but it’s actually the voice of a boy who’s celebrating the day that has no “school. homework. dance class. soccer practice. no anything.” And he embarks upon a day of true childhood fun, entreating the person with the “big shoes”(aka, us, the adults) to give it a try.

With whimsical illustrations, the girls and I were reminded of the potential of  a There’s Nothing to Do Today kind of day.

In this book Halperin chooses six patterns from nature and uses them as the base of each picture.  We might try our own take on her ideas tomorrow.  With pure happenstance(I didn’t even know what the book was about before we opened it) waiting on the printer was a list of things to do when you’re bored that I’d printed out the night before.  The girls ran and grabbed the list, giggling at “organize your room” and “walk the dog”(mom, we don’t have a dog).

It turns out we’re familiar with Halperin’s illustrations through another series from the summer.  If you enjoy her illustrations try the Cobble Street Cousins by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Halperin as well. Be prepared for your kids to ask if they can start their own cookie company in the neighborhood.


The next book kept our good mood rolling,


Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale(Introducing His Forgotten Friend) by Deborah Hopkinson

If you like this one try another book by Hopkinson,

2009 ApplesToOregon

Apples to Oregon Being the (slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries(and Children) Across the Plain Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

Both are based on true events but told with tall tale humor.

Enjoy your day, reading or doing nothing.

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